Lawsuit Filed Challenging NY Gay Marriage Law


Just one day after New York’s same-sex marriage law went into effect a group of religious conservatives filed on Monday a lawsuit to have the Marriage Equality Act struck down.

The suit, filed by group New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and led by Reverend Jason J. McGuire, challenges that lawmakers ignored proper procedure in bringing the same-sex marriage bill to a senate floor vote, and that lawmakers took campaign contributions from Mayor Bloomberg in exchange for their vote, as well as a whole host of other accusations.

From NY Daily News:

The group also claims, among other things, that Gov. Cuomo and the Senate ignored the constitutionally mandated three-day waiting period before a bill can be acted upon and that lawmakers approved the legislation in exchange for campaign contributions from Bloomberg and other high profile “Wall Street financiers.”

“It is unfortunate that state senators chose to protect their personal interests, rather than the people they were elected to represent. Some of the players may have changed, but it looks like same old Albany game. It is time the curtain be pulled back and the disinfecting light of good government shine upon the Cuomo Administration and our State Legislature,” McGuire said in a press release.

It didn’t take long to ascertain that the suit is being supported by an out-of-state group with a very particular agenda.

From Metro Weekly:

The lawsuit — though brought in the name of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, Jason McGuire, Duane Motley and Nathaniel Leiter — is lawyered by Liberty Counsel attorney Rena Lindevaldsen.

Lindevaldsen has a long history of bringing such cases. According to her Liberty University School of Law biography, “She filed the first lawsuit to enjoin San Francisco’s efforts to ‘marry’ same-sex couples, and obtained two orders enjoining public officials in New York from officiating same-sex unions. She successfully challenged New York City’s decision to publicly fund a high school for homosexual students and a Maryland school board’s decision to implement sex education curriculum that presented materials hostile to conservative, religious beliefs. In addition to her efforts to protect children and families, she regularly provided representation to Child Evangelism Fellowship in its efforts to gain access to public schools for after-school Good News Clubs.”

[Read more on the merits -- or lack thereof -- of the case over at Metro Weekly.]

Indeed, throughout the legal complaint same-sex marriage is continually referred to as “marriage” complete with quotation marks, a sneer at marriage equality that is commonplace on certain religious conservative websites. It is, however, curious to find such a show of disdain in a legal complaint as it would appear to demonstrate a bias that one might want to avoid when challenging a law that centers on civil rights.

The complaint, as it goes, has been slammed by N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo whose spokesman Josh Vlasto went as far to say, “The plaintiffs lack a basic understanding of the laws of the state of New York. The suit is without merit.”

Possibly in anticipation of this lawsuit, Senator Ruban Diaz Sr., the only Democrat to vote against the same-sex marriage legislation, pledged that he will personally see to it that the hundreds of same-sex marriages carried out since Sunday are annulled, telling a sizable crowed at the National Organization for Marriage’s loftily titled “Let the People Vote” rally in Manhattan on Sunday that Mayor Bloomberg had broken the law (he didn’t provide details on how) and saying, “We’re going to show them next week that everything they did today is criminal and it’s wrong. Today we start the battle! Today we start the war!”

As such, even if this lawsuit falls at the first hurdle it would seem reasonable to expect more challenges to come.

Related Reading:
Leukemia Took My Partner & Now DOMA Will Take My Home (VIDEO)
Despite DADT Repeal, No Spousal Benefits for Gay Soldiers
Stephen Colbert: It Gets Better! (VIDEO)

Photo used under the MorgueFile user license, with thanks to mensatic.


Dianne Prang
Dianne Prang6 years ago

I apologize for my long list of comments, but seriously, after reading that this law is now going to be challenged, I am sooo disgusted about politics and religion.
Does USA deserve to be the world power with all the crap that is taking place?
Will USA bring down world economies because Republicans want ABSOLUTE powers?
Where are the voices of reason? Why do the people accept what these religious nuts are doing to womens rights in the name of saving tax dollars? The voices of reason ought to know that the small amounts saved will have a far more detrimental affect on the economy over time...thats a given.
Yes, I am angry!

Dianne Prang
Dianne Prang6 years ago

However as much as I would like to believe him, it is far too apparent that Republicans will bring down any sense of reason.
I predict they their successes will lead to greater disparities over the rich and poor, women's rights will be sorely bruised, economic reforms unlikely and the rich will take over while the religious politics will thwart liberties and freedoms fought by so many in America.
The news about reversing gay marriages by challenging law makers in NY state is just one more example of politics and religion messing with America.... Ohh, perhaps the 'God bless America' thinking is to literal...
Instead lets say, 'God is going to save America'
Good luck.... meanwhile I am staying put in my own country as voices of reason actually exists.

Dianne Prang
Dianne Prang6 years ago

I used to think I would like to move to USA from Canada. That aspiration has died a sure death over the last few years....
Politics and religious ideologies seem to rule the day in America.... and will be detrimental to all Americans. Where are the voices of reason? They do not seem to exist in your world of today.
During the recent Bush days, I visited NYC in 2006. Standing in line for Letterman tickets, I heard voices of reason all around me. Obviously educated types who were sharing news with one another about blue and red states. I had never heard those terms before but soon grasped what they were saying... that Bush was sooooo bad that even Americans were from both red and blue states were finally seeing how detrimental Bush was for the economy etc.
So, time moves on, debts and problems emerge that led America to its current state of unrest in a very depressed economical state.
So now what happens huh? Republicans want to claim what they believe is rightfully theirs...a replublican country who rejects taxing the rich, a refusal to accept their own president who by all accounts has stepped into power in perilous times after 8 years of horrendous spending by Bush, wars that have proven far too costly,ohhh the list goes on and on.
Again, where are the voices of reason? My good friend in USA told me that most Americans would not agree to reversing women's rights etc. However as much as I would like to believe him, it is far too apparent that Republicans will b

pam w.
pam w6 years ago

Help me out here--which commandment says "thou shalt attempt to rule the lives of thy neighbors when they do not adhere to THY religious point of view?"

Wayne M.
Wayne M6 years ago

To Vernon W.: The better solution that ensures equality for all and allows religious groups to act in accord with their teachings is to do as many European countries do and require civil marriage in order for any couple to enjoy the privileges and rights of being married. Then, if they want to have a religious marriage and their religious group will marry them, that is their choice. However, the religious marriage will have no legal status.

Vernon W.
Vernon W6 years ago

My understanding of mariage is that there is a civil procedure which grants a couple all the legal and civil rights of marriage. Then, if you desire, there is an optional religious procedure, depending on your religious preference. If a couple chooses not to have a religious or church service, people of religion have no right to impose their religious restrictions upon them. If everyone would agree to call these non-religious marriages "Civil Unions," that would make it very clear.

Lilithe Magdalene

ANybody take a look at the lawyer? My gaydar is going nits - what is she hiding. And if anybody has a hard time with stereotyping like that, oh well. I'm gay, live with it.

Talya H.
Talya H6 years ago

I agree with Mark Allan D....if there can be no same-sex marriage then there should be no marriage for anyone. How can people speak of civil rights when its not given to all people??? How can people be so stupidly hypocritical?!?! I am so sick and tried of religious people saying that same-sex marriage or just being gay is a sin. We straight people cheat and act inappropriately all the time, 50% of marriages end in divorce,domestic abuse among heterosexual couples is huge!!!!! People are so full of it.

Mark Alan Dellavecchia

No more "Special Rights" for heterosexuals. If we can't equalize marriage for all people, then the only other alternative is to abolish marriage for all people. Just think of the money that will be saved with no more Family Court!

Glenna Jones-kachtik
Glenna Kachtik6 years ago

And God said the greatest commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself.... Do unto others.... I don't recall him ever defining who your neighbor was or saying your neighbor had to think or act just like yourself. How would these people, filing this lawsuit like it if someone said to them, I want to see that your marriage is declared null & void???? Yet they would do that to someone else. Just how would they like it if someone told them they were not able to file jointly on their income taxes; visit their sick partner in the hospital; collect their death benefits upon the death of their partner; continue living in the home they had made; keep their kids; be fired for whom they sleep with???? Yet they would deny these rights to others. Based on Loving the sinner but hating the sin???? Doesn't sound much like love to me. America is ruled by secular laws - not holy ones. We should start acting like it. Only people who are so bent on making the world a Theocracy would celebrate the writing of discrimination into a document supposedly granting rights. I am not sure God really knows some of you who are so sure that you have a pipeline to him nor that you are going to heaven either.